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a pit

Posted by faylon (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 10, 09 at 11:09

I have a house that was built in the 1950s. I know that the previous owners were big gardeners. This last week I was walking in the back yard and a low spot in the yard started to give way. Yesterday, I grabbed the shovel and now have opened a hole into a pit that had been covered with approximately 5/8" thick wood. This pit is deep enough having 3" the handle of a shovel sticking out when putting the shovel into the pit. On top of the dirt that fell in to pit when the roof collapsed. Without fully opening the pit it appears to be about 4 feet by 4 feet by about 5 feet deep. Other than the wood on the top with about 3" soil on top there is a rectangle just below the wood on the south side of the pit, and on the west side of the pit is a 3" clay tile on top of a brick. I dont know what rectangle is made of. I stuck the digital camera through the hole into the pit and took pictures. All I see smooth walls that are clay dirt without any reinforcement. Does anyone have an idea what this might be? I am thinking it might be a hatch cellar, or possibly a dry well but everything is wet. We had a snow fall and it is cold out right now. Not to mention that I have a 7000 lb camper parked right next to the pit, otherwise I would be doing more digging and investigation.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: a pit

maybe an old cistern or something. first thing i would do is move the camper in case a side of it collapses. next you should rope it off before someone fals in. then you should fill it with dirt or else reinforce the walls is you plan on using it.


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RE: a pit

Hard to tell what it was for. I would move the camper ASAP as the previous poster said. If you have some fencing, fence off the hole and wait to it gets warmer and pull up the wood and get a good look inside the hole.


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RE: a pit

Do you have any access to the previous owners to ask them about the hole?


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RE: a pit

Could be an old septic tank, old water cistern. Probably not a dry well. Those are normally filled with crushed stone.


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RE: a pit

People went crazy in the 50's trying to dig backyard bomb shelters, and yours may be one that got as far as it apparently got.


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RE: a pit

It's pretty deep for a compost pit but if it is unlined this is a possibility since the previous owners were big gardeners.


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RE: a pit

Is there by any chance a pendelum in the pit?


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RE: a pit

Cistern that has had the tile removed, ab old Man hole...access to aw ater line...that's what that rectangle was...perhaps a spring house....not a house but a place to keep food cold.
Just because the house was built in teh 1950's doesn't mean there wasnt' something there years before.
Linda C


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RE: a pit

hahahahaha, ROFL---pendelum...that was funny Tex !!

Perhaps it's a root cellar?


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RE: a pit

Sounds a little large for a BBQ pit to roast a whole pig but its more likely a root cellar if you are in the midwest. They were popular in the 1950's.


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RE: a pit

Sounds like an awsome opportunity to install a cistern! Have it lined with concrete and route your downspouts to it - FREE, non-chemcial treated water! I would love to install cistern but it's just too expensive. You already have 1/2 the expense taken care of because you won't have to excavate it!

Make lemonade out of your lemon - and enjoy naturally soft rainwater.


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haha

ps I read this posting because I was afriad it was my neighborn talking about my house ;)


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